Fortinet Interview Questions

Last updated on Nov 24, 2023

Accelerate your career as a Fortinet Firewall expert with the assistance of HKR's newly crafted article featuring essential Fortinet Interview Questions and Answers. This technology is particularly relevant for individuals with expertise in LAN networking, CCNA, Network engineering, Switching, MPLS, IP routing, CISCO Routers, Router configuration, and IP Addressing. According to a Gartner report, approx. 7.8% of companies adopt Fortinet Firewall for security. Given its growing popularity, there are increasing job opportunities in this field. Prepare with our comprehensive guide covering the top 30 Fortinet interview questions and answers for Fortinet positions.

Most Frequently Asked Fortinet Interview Questions

1. What do you know about Fortinet's FortiGate?

Ans: FortiGate, developed by Fortinet, is more than just a firewall. It's a comprehensive cybersecurity solution offering multi-layered protection against various threats. It includes advanced features like an intrusion prevention system (IPS), robust web filtering, SSL inspection, and automated threat protection mechanisms. Integrating AI in FortiGate enhances its proactive threat detection and response capability, making it a highly effective tool in modern cybersecurity defence strategies.

2. Tell me about Fortinet's history

Ans: Fortinet, established in 2000 by Ken Xie and Michael Xie, has made significant strides in cybersecurity. The company's first primary product, FortiGate, was launched in 2002. Fortinet secured substantial financial backing in its early years, raising millions in funding. The past decade has seen Fortinet expand its portfolio through strategic acquisitions of security-related software companies. A recent landmark development was the release of FortiAI in February 2020, showcasing Fortinet's commitment to AI-powered security solutions.

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3. What do you know about Fortinet as an organization?

Ans: Fortinet is a significant American MNC, employing over 7000 individuals globally, with its headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. The company specializes in security-driven networking solutions, including cutting-edge firewalls, antispam services, endpoint security, and antivirus products. Fortinet has also established a technical certification program, the Network Security Expert (NSE), which is a testament to its dedication to fostering a well-equipped workforce in the realm of cybersecurity.

4. What is Traditional Firewall?

Ans: A traditional firewall serves as a foundational network security device, managing and monitoring the ingress and egress of network traffic based on specified security rules. These firewalls typically operate using either a stateless or stateful inspection methodology. Their primary focus is overseeing network traffic across the 2nd to 4th layers of the OSI model, offering a basic level of security.

5. What is the Next-Generation Firewall?

Ans: The Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) represents an evolution in firewall technology, encompassing all the capabilities of traditional firewalls while introducing advanced features. These include in-depth packet inspection, application-level awareness, an Integrated Intrusion Protection System (IPS), SSL inspection capabilities, and Shell (SSH) control. It enhances the Firewall's ability to manage and secure complex network environments effectively.

6. Explain the differences between a Next-Generation Firewall and a Traditional Firewall

Ans: The primary distinctions between NGFW and traditional firewalls lie in their capabilities and operational depth. NGFWs can identify user identities, unlike conventional firewalls. They also inspect network traffic more thoroughly, covering layers 5 to 7 of the OSI model. Furthermore, NGFWs analyze not just the packet headers but also scrutinize the packet data, offering a more comprehensive security approach.

7. What is UTM?

Ans: Unified Threat Management (UTM) is a comprehensive security solution that offers multifaceted protection against various cyber threats. It consolidates multiple security and networking functions into one platform, providing capabilities such as antivirus, content filtering, and protection against unapproved website access and spyware. UTM systems are particularly beneficial for simplifying security management in complex IT environments.

8. Explain about integrated threat management

Ans: Integrated threat management is an approach used to face malware such as blended threats, spam, etc. It protects from intrusion at both gateway and endpoint levels. It enables simplified administration by protecting from all threats for every component in a heterogeneous and integrated environment.

9. What is Security Fabric?

Ans: The Fortinet Security Fabric is an expansive, integrated, and automated cybersecurity framework designed to provide comprehensive protection across an increasingly complex and diverse array of endpoints. It facilitates seamless security operations by linking various security tools under a unified interface, thus effectively addressing gaps in security coverage and enhancing operational efficiency.

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10. Name the different encryption mechanisms available in Fortigate Firewall

Ans:  FortiGate Firewall utilizes a range of robust encryption mechanisms to secure data, primarily employing symmetric-key algorithms like AES and DES. The suite of supported algorithms includes des-md5, des-sha1, des-sha256, aes128-md5, aes128-sha1, and others, ensuring a versatile and secure encryption framework to safeguard sensitive information.

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11. What do you mean by 'Aware' in Fortinet Security fabric?

Ans: In Fortinet's Security Fabric context, 'Aware' refers to the system's capability to establish comprehensive awareness throughout the network. This encompasses a deep understanding of the threat landscape and data flow across the web. It emphasizes controlling and monitoring data packets, ensuring the correct information securely reaches the intended destinations.

12. Explain about 'Actionable' in Fortinet Security Fabric

Ans: The 'Actionable' aspect of Fortinet's Security Fabric involves synthesizing global threat intelligence with localized network data to provide actionable insights. This process enables the delivery of relevant and practical threat intelligence to every security device within the network, facilitating a coordinated and efficient response to emerging cyber threats.

13. Explain the 'Scalable' feature in Fortinet Fabric?

Ans: The 'Scalable' feature in Fortinet Fabric refers to its ability to adapt and extend security capabilities across diverse network environments. It includes providing end-to-end security at a granular level, from IoT devices to cloud infrastructures, ensuring consistent and comprehensive protection across distributed networks.

14. How does the security feature of Fortinet Security Fabric benefit us?

Ans: In an organization, security has to be provided for the tools and services across the network. Security Fabric acts like a single collaborative entity by allowing individual device elements to share global and local threat intelligence and threat mitigation information.

15. What are open APIs in Fortinet Security Fabric?

Ans: Open APIs in the Fortinet Security Fabric facilitate the integration of various security devices into a cohesive and coordinated security system. These APIs enable seamless interactions with different technological environments, such as cloud services, virtual systems, and network orchestration tools, thereby enhancing the flexibility and effectiveness of the overall security infrastructure.

16. How is Fortinet’s Fabric-Ready Partner program different from the other partner programs?

Ans: Fortinet's Fabric-Ready Partner program differentiates itself by emphasizing open integration through APIs and DevOps tool scripts. It supports seamless integration with major cloud platforms and virtualization technologies, enabling automated and efficient security policy management and application deployment across diverse environments.

17. What is a Fortinet Firewall?

Ans: Fortinet firewalls are specialized network security devices engineered with purpose-built processors to offer unparalleled threat protection and performance, especially for SSL-encrypted traffic. These appliances provide detailed visibility and robust protection for applications, user data, and IoT devices and are designed to identify and mitigate a wide range of security issues proactively.

18. How can we configure FortiIOS to turn on global strong encryption?

Ans: Configuring FortiIOS for strong encryption involves specific command-line inputs and settings adjustments. This process ensures that only robust encryption methods, such as AES and 3DES, and secure digest algorithms like SHA1 are utilized for HTTPS, SSH, and SSL/TLS communications, thereby enhancing the overall security of the network infrastructure.

19. Which back-end servers can be used to provide recipient verification?

Ans: LDAP and SMTP servers are the primary back-end server types for recipient verification purposes. These servers play a crucial role in ensuring the authenticity and integrity of email communications within networked environments.

20. How can you send logs to FortiAnalyzer/ FortiManager in an encrypted format by using GUI?

Ans: To send logs to FortiAnalyzer or FortiManager in an encrypted format using the GUI, navigate to the log settings section and configure the Remote Logging settings. Here, you'll find an option to enable encrypted log transmission, ensuring that all logs sent to these management platforms are encrypted for data privacy and security. 

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21. What does a FortiMail unit do in a transparent mode?

Ans:  In transparent mode, a FortiMail unit acts as a proxy server that intercepts email messages, scans them for viruses and spam, and then forwards them to the intended destination email server. This mode of operation allows the FortiMail unit to provide effective email filtering and security without requiring significant changes to the existing email infrastructure.

22. What are the points that should be considered while mounting a Fortinet firewall (Hardware) in the rack?

Ans: Several critical points should be considered when mounting a Fortinet firewall in a rack. These include setting an appropriate room temperature per the manufacturer's recommendations, ensuring reliable power earthing, maintaining adequate airflow for the system, and implementing necessary precautions for overcurrent management and supply wiring. Adhering to these guidelines ensures the optimal performance and longevity of the firewall hardware.

23. Why do we have to deploy a FortiMail unit in transparent mode?

Ans: If the FortiMail unit is operating in transparent mode, then the administrator doesn't have to configure DNS records for protected domain names.

24. What actions can be taken against a source IP address generating spam or invalid email messages when using a sender reputation?

Ans: FortiMail units deploy a sender reputation scoring system to regulate email traffic based on the credibility of the sender's IP address. If the sender's score falls below a set threshold, they can continue to send emails unrestrictedly. Should the score range between a point and a higher rejection threshold, FortiMail issues a temporary failure notice and delays the email delivery. If the score surpasses the rejection threshold, FortiMail outright rejects the emails from the sender.

25. What is the method does the FortiGate unit use to determine the availability of a web cache using Web cache communication protocol (WCCP)?

Ans: In the Fortigate, the Web cache mechanism sends a message like “I see you”  which is later stored by the FortiGate unit.

26. What profile can be used to protect against denial of service attacks?

Ans: To safeguard networks against DoS attacks, the utilization of a session profile is recommended. This profile is specifically designed to detect and mitigate the effects of such attacks, ensuring the network's availability and resilience against these disruptive activities

27. What is the FGCP cluster?

Ans: The FGCP, or FortiGate Clustering Protocol, is a proprietary high-availability solution from Fortinet. It is primarily used in firewall configurations. Further, it typically involves a cluster of two FortiGate firewalls working in tandem to ensure continuous network security and uptime. This clustering approach enhances the reliability and effectiveness of the network's defence mechanism.

28. What are the various steps that should be taken by any user before performing up-gradation of the firmware of the Fortinet security Firewall?

Ans: Several preparatory steps are essential before upgrading the firmware of a Fortinet security Firewall, initially backing up the current configuration. Then, secure a copy of the existing firmware, which can be reverted to if necessary. Next, thoroughly review the manufacturer's release notes for insights into new features, bug fixes, and performance enhancements. Finally, proceed with the firmware upgrade, ensuring a smooth transition to the updated version.

29. How to take a backup of the Fortinet firewall configuration?

Ans: A series of CLI commands are used to back up the configuration of a Fortinet firewall. For backup to a management station, execute the backup config management station. To back up to a USB device, the command executes backup config usb . Additionally, backups can be performed via FTP using manage backup config ftp [details] or via TFTP with run backup config tftp..

30. What happens if the disk logging is disabled in the FortiGate unit?

Ans: If disk logging is disabled on a FortiGate unit, the system defaults to writing logs to its flash memory. However, frequent rewriting to flash memory can potentially diminish its lifespan and efficiency due to the inherent limitations of flash storage technology.

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31. How to perform disable activities involved in administrative access management from the internet?

Ans: The GUI (Graphical User Interface) or CLI (Command Line Interface) can be used to restrict internet-based administrative access to a FortiGate unit. Through the CLI, enter config system interface, edit [interface name], unset allow access, and conclude with end. In the GUI, navigate to Network -> Interfaces, select the external interface, and disable protocols like HTTPS, PING, HTTP, SSH, and TELNET under administrative access settings.


32. Write the important CLI command to disable or deactivate auto USB installation?

Ans: The following CLI command should be used to disable or deactivate the automatic USB installation feature: config system auto-install, followed by set auto-install-config disable and set auto-install-image-disable, and finalized with end. This command effectively prevents automatic installations from USB devices, enhancing the system's security posture.

33. How Fortinet provides support in case of any difficulty or issue faced by any network administrator?

Ans: Fortinet offers a comprehensive support system to assist network administrators in addressing various challenges. It includes:

  • A detailed knowledge base.
  • Access to the Fortinet document library.
  • Community-driven training and certification programs.
  • A rich video library.
  • Actively maintained discussion forums.
  • Readily available technical contact support.

These resources collectively ensure administrators have the tools and information to manage and resolve issues effectively.

34. WAN optimization is, Configured in active or passive mode, when will the remote peer accept an attempt to initiate a tunnel?

Ans: In the context of WAN optimization, whether configured in active or passive mode, a remote peer will accept a tunnel initiation attempt only if a corresponding tolerant rule is set in place. This rule acts as a conditional checkpoint, ensuring tunnel initiation aligns with the network's configured security and optimization policies.

35. An e-mail message, received by the Fortinet unit is subject to the bounce verification, Antispam check, under which circumstances?

Ans: An email message received by a Fortinet unit undergoes bounce verification and antispam checks, mainly when the envelope's MAIL FROM field is set to a null reverse path. It triggers the creation and activation of a bounce verification key, which is a critical step in authenticating the legitimacy of the email and mitigating spam.

36. In the local storage structure of the Fortimail Unit, what does the flash memory contain?

Ans: Within the FortiMail unit's local storage structure, the flash memory stores crucial components like firmware images, system configuration settings, and various certificates. It ensures that essential operational data and security credentials are securely housed within the unit for efficient and secure functioning.

37. Which SMTP sessions are defined As Incoming?

Ans: In SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), sessions classified as 'Incoming' typically pertain to those associated with the protected domain. This classification is vital for managing and securing email traffic that is directed towards the domains under the protective umbrella of the network's security infrastructure.

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